In Hammond, the Challenger Learning Center is receiving a contribution of $100,000 from NIPSCO and the NiSource Charitable Foundation, a news release said, a donation that will further the Challenger Learning Center’s mission and help continue its work to reach students through STEM education each year.. Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork.
“Ensuring students have accessibility to STEM and energy education is a top priority at all NiSource companies,” said Mike Hooper, President of NIPSCO, a NiSource Company. “When we talk about the future of energy, it’s important to involve everyone in the conversation, including the younger generation who will be essential to developing future technologies and innovations in the way that we deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to the communities we serve”
With support from the NiSource Foundation and other key stakeholders, the announcement said, Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana will be able to transform the traditional classroom into a functioning STEM learning lab, one that will have furniture and technology that is adaptable, flexible, and ergonomic to a variety of teaching methods including project-based learning, independent exploration, and interactive demonstrations. In addition, the funding will provide the resources to develop an energy education program that adds diversity to the Center’s current curriculum, builds organizational capacity and resilience. “It’s imperative that we create a space that fuels curiosity, fosters collaboration, and gives students more opportunities to learn about energy and to explore energy in STEM,” said Lara Bates, Executive Director of Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana. “We are truly grateful for this generous donation from NIPSCO and for their commitment to future STEM leaders.”